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My First Suspension- Can I Have a Do-Over?

The picture was half covered, and all I could see was the man's face. The portion of the photograph that I could see made me feel serene and happy. His face was so calm and peaceful, I couldn't figure out what he was doing to make him feel like that. When IAM member Beachnut revealed the rest of the picture I was stunned. The man was hanging by the skin of his back! The shock was very brief, and was replaced with the oddest feeling that it actually made sense.  

    That was over three years ago. He had shown me the pictures because he was preparing himself for his first suspension, and in doing so he helped me find the beginning of my modified path. It wasn't long before I was certain I had to suspend as well. When I was going to do it however, was more uncertain. Although I knew I wanted to do it soon I still didn't know when it was going to happen for real. Fast-forward two years, and the date had been set. But I was so anxious to jump the gun I didn't realize it still wasn't time for me to do it.  

    I had been in a very unhealthy relationship those two years, and I wasn't myself in more ways than I'd like to admit. A suspension was one of the only things I clung to as something I would do for myself, simply because I wanted to. If you've never been in an unhealthy relationship to such a degree, you probably won't understand what it meant to me. I was pretty weak at that point; emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally wiped out. But I was still stubborn enough to try to push myself through something as intense as a suspension. 

    The night of my suspension there were two other first-timers going up as well. There was a total of eight people present, which was not a big deal since I considered them all friends. I was the last one to go up that night. I had decided on a 4 point suicide, as many do for their first time. The piercing was the hardest part. With every hook, I wasn't sure if I could take the next one! I managed though, and for a time was really glad that I had. Once I got all rigged up, I started to stretch out and was really surprised at how good it felt. It took me a while to get off the ground. The sensation was intense, just knowing that your flesh is the only thing that is holding you up. Its unnerving to let your feet leave the floor, as your instinct is to keep touching the ground. The other odd thing about it, is shaking the feeling that you're going to fall- there's no way you're falling unless your hooks are poorly placed or the person holding your rope drops you. Once I got swinging I was okay, I tried tucking my legs in just to get my body moving and relaxed, but someone told me to let them go so I didn't argue with them. But that worked against me. I couldn't relax, and I knew it could take a little while. I didn't get the chance to find out because the guy holding my ropes pulled me up another foot and a half very fast, very suddenly and it freaked me out a bit. That's when it started to set in that I shouldn't have gone through with it quite yet. 

    I asked them to let me sit down for a second. The adrenaline was making me feel a little shaky, and I became even more aware of the people who were watching me. The girl who had done my walk through was still holding my hands and encouraging me. She kept saying "You can do it, I know you can, just take a deep breath and go for it." I knew I wouldn't be going back up, though. I had reached my limit. Once I said so, I felt like I was three inches tall. The girl dropped my hands and walked right away from me, announcing that she was going to go pick up her son. Not another word to me, and only a brief goodbye to her boyfriend and she left. My ex was there and had done a suspension previously- he stayed up much longer than I did-  and he looked completely disinterested. I felt like I had let people down, like I wasn't good enough. The suspension should have been for ME. It shouldn't have mattered, but as I said before, it just wasn't really time for me to go up and I did it anyways. 

    I couldn't even focus more on the people who were actually being supportive and telling me how good I had done. I should have felt like I really accomplished something, but I didn't. I didn't listen to my body, and further more I didn't pay attention to what was best for me regarding the other things in my life. I really paid the price emotionally for that lesson, but I'm really glad I learned it.  

    My first suspension was a complete disappointment. Nevertheless, I am still utterly fascinated by suspensions. I even participate in a side show that features suspensions although I haven't done a second suspension myself.  I do aim to do another soon, but not before I know without a doubt that the timing is right. This time, I will be more aware ahead of time of the people present as well, since their energy affects your energy. The one positive thing that came from that experience is that I know exactly what to say to other people when they're preparing for their first time. The suspension is YOUR experience, and you have more say than you know over who is in the room with you. More over you should remember that some people just weren't born to suspend and some people are. I say keep an open mind and give it a shot, but don't push yourself and do something that you really don't want to. Listen to your body- nobody knows it like you do.


submitted by: Bri Bri
on: 06 June 2007
in Ritual

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Artist: The+origional+CNY+suspension+crew
Studio: Extreme+Graphix
Location: Geneva%2C+New+York

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